By Wendy Morgan
Volunteer Coordinator, Mission ConneXion Northwest
Perhaps you have read my recent submission Praying Without Borders, perhaps not; but here is the rest of the story.
When Jesus told His disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations” in Matthew 28:19, he was referring to all ethnic groups or people groups, rather than geopolitical populations. A people group is essentially a collection of individuals who have a common sense of history, language, beliefs, and identity.
Today, 42% of the world’s population is considered “unreached” or “unengaged” and would NOT be familiar with the Story of Jesus – that God became a man; who proclaimed the love of God; was rewarded by being put to death and placed in a tomb; that He came back to life in three days, and that He now offers forgiveness, hope, and life over death for those who choose to follow Him. For 42% of the world’s population, Easter IS meaningless.
I remember teaching a college class in my church years ago and I asked “What is the Great Commission?” A zealous business student jokingly replied, “about 25%”!
We all laughed because most everyone in the class knew what I was asking. But so many today would not even understand the question, even if you explained it! The five unengaged people groups today (referred to as “UPG’s”) include Tribals, Hindus, Chinese, Muslims, and Buddhists. Many of these groups live not only in far-away places that you cannot even pronounce, but many are our neighbors who study in our schools, and work for the Nike’s, Intel’s and employers we do.
At Mission ConneXion we are pleased to be able to engage the Great Commission Jesus left us with by connecting God’s people to mission through our partnerships with churches and mission organizations. One of those agencies is New Tribes Mission (NTM). Watch Paiye of the Moi tribe in Papua, who was reached by NTM missionaries, tell the Easter story in his own words.
There is no doubt when you watch Paiye that even without understanding his language, you can clearly understand his heart, and the life change he is experiencing!
I can get just as animated over what Jesus has done in my life, and I also rejoice that, in a small way, we get to be involved, through equipping opportunities like Muslim, Prayer, and Student ConneXion events, in making Easter Meaningful among those here and far-off – for whom Jesus is still a mystery!
By Wendy Morgan
(This article originally appeared in May 2016, as Wendy and Mission ConneXion looked forward to its first ever Prayer ConneXion.)
It was just a few years ago that I was attending Crossroads Community Church and Mission ConneXion Northwest was soon to be held there. I was asked by Crossroads to serve as the lead registration volunteer. Now, I was still pretty new to the area and had never heard of this organization, but I said yes; and by the end of the event, a “connexion” had been made! I was asked to do the same for Mission ConneXion.
My attendance was sporadic at first. Looking back, I suppose I came when I believed I was needed; but over time, I wanted to be there, wanted to be a part of this amazing organization. It was a time and place where, regardless of the business at hand, the focus was always God first. We opened in Scripture and prayer, we discussed needs and progress, we prayed often during the meetings as more difficult subjects emerged, and always concluded in prayer. There was no need that was not met through prayer.
Eventually, the need for a new minute keeper arose; again, I was asked to step in. I gladly said yes as this would definitely keep me coming. God even gave me a job that allowed me to take the time to attend in the middle of the work day. Funny thing, too, about taking notes – you pick up on a lot more details. So, when it was mentioned that Mission ConneXion was planning a Prayer and Spiritual Warfare ConneXion for 2016, there I was taking notes, writing down the name of the speakers, where they were from, what their stories were, why they were selected.
You see, God had slowly been working on my heart in the area of prayer specifically. I was sadly like many believers who believed we should pray, did pray some, but never truly grasped the depth of what prayer is – the power of and partnership with God Almighty. This was something I knew was missing from my walk with the Lord. So, I looked up the speakers and ordered No Easy Road by Dick Eastman.
This was about the same time that the movie War Room was playing in local theaters. The message was clear – prayer is a powerful weapon and we must pray (I’m afraid my cup of coffee would have been lukewarm, too)! So, my husband and I emptied a closet, literally, and made our war room. About that time, the book arrived and we began reading and learning and, most importantly, praying.
I am thankful for the connection God gave me simply by saying “Yes, I’ll serve,” but there are not words enough to portray my gratitude to our Savior for bringing me to my knees and closer to His heart. Oh, the joy inexplicable! And my journey has only just begun…
Editor’s Note: Wendy has since served as our Registration Coordinator and now serves as the organization’s Volunteer Coordinator for the Mission ConneXion Northwest event. She will be one of the workshop instructors at this year’s Prayer ConneXion. Next month: Read Wendy’s recap of Prayer ConneXion 2016 (“Out of the Desert”) and learn how this conference impacted her and her prayer life.
I believe it was David Moore, currently working with Wycliffe in Indonesia, who introduced me to Mission ConneXion Northwest some years ago. Since then, I have attended over a dozen conferences. Each year I have come away with a heightened sense of the vastness and variety of the missions’ movement. I have been challenged, informed, and encouraged.
Besides the informative workshops, the motivating speakers, and the inspiring music, a side benefit is re-connecting with friends from years past. I especially look forward to speaking with representatives from Black Forest Academy where my wife and I spent three significant years.
A special blessing occurred when a former student of mine at Faith Bible High School, Laura Hewett, became a missionary teacher at Black Forest Academy. MCNW played a part in this as I remember Laura talking to a representative from BFA at MCNW.
I attend Laurel Community Church, where I serve as the Missions Deacon. We encourage our members to attend MCNW so they can realize the scope of Christian missions and the impact it has had and is having on the world.
Three things that I have learned at MCNW that have helped me are the following:
Thank you, Bill and the many others, who continue to provide leadership for this modern day missionary endeavor.
Sincerely, Chuck Felton
What an honor being invited to be a part of the first Women’s Track at Mission ConneXion Northwest! It was an easy decision when Wendy Palau called and asked me to be a part of this event, as I always look forward to opportunities to help encourage and support women in ministry. Little did I know the impact it would have on me. What a joy it has been to see Mission ConneXion grow throughout the years and continue to be forward thinking on how to steward the conference experience.
The challenge given to us was “Who is Able” and in Christ we are! Whatever the ministry or mission we feel called to has to be rooted in our identity in Christ. The Lord pressed on my heart the first track of this event should be encouragement in how to be rooted properly in our identity in Christ before we do anything. The ministry we commit to does not define who we are; God does. What a great reminder in a world which suffers a real identity crisis.
I walked away from this weekend challenged. I was reminded to get up each morning and live the day God gives me, whatever that might look like. Live with great joy knowing that everything in our day matters, the big and the small.
I was also reminded that I am not alone. We have so many brothers and sisters in Christ who are committed to spreading the gospel and uniquely gifted in ways that I could never imagine. I loved seeing and meeting so many different ministry partners being used by God all across the world. I look forward to listening to the tracks that I could not attend, to be encouraged and equipped in my own walk with the Lord.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds.
I hope to see you next year! ~Sheri Lozano
Editor’s Note: You can listen to and download Sheri’s session, entitled, “Ma’am, Can I See Your I.D?” here.
Every day the nightly news reminds us of the turmoil in the Muslim world. Images of refugees fleeing brutal violence have touched our hearts. We ache for them.
At Mission ConneXion Northwest in January, we heard amazing stories about Muslim people who have seen Jesus in visions and dreams as He calls them into relationship with Himself.
We heard about miracles of healing in Muslim communities that showed the power of Christ in ways that reminded us of New Testament days.
There is no doubt that God is at work in Muslim communities, both overseas and here in the U.S. And, we have the privilege of being part of this important work.
Do you want to know more about how God is at work in the Muslim world? Is God calling you or your church to be more involved with Muslim people in other countries or here in our own neighborhoods? If so, I hope you will plan to attend Muslim ConneXion on March 31 and April 1.
If you are interested in knowing how you can reach out, practically and graciously, to Muslims, two great speakers will share solutions and ideas that have worked for them:
Joy & David will combine both practical experiences of reaching Muslims overseas and here in North America; as well as Bible studies that have been used with Muslim friends who are intrigued by reasons why one would consider faith in Christ.
If God is calling you to show the love of Jesus to Muslim people, please join us at Muslim ConneXion, which will be held at Southwest Bible Church on Murray Road in Beaverton from 7 p.m. Friday, March 31 through 5 p.m. Saturday, April 1.
There is an admission charge for this event to cover our expenses and includes workshop materials and lunch on Saturday. This charge is reduced for students and groups and for those who register by this Friday, March 3. To register on-line, please click here.
I hope you’ll join me at this important event.
Written by Dr. Brent Strawsburg, Founder & President of Brent Strawsburg Apologetics
Words are not adequate to express my appreciation for Mission ConneXion Northwest. Every time we attend this conference the Lord really ministers to us personally—not only as we see people commit themselves to global missions but as He reminds us of His faithfulness in our lives. This past January was no exception!
As Mission ConneXion helps focus all of our attention on the global mandate of the Great Commission it’s vital to remember that the modern-day Christian in America lives in a mission field.
We live in a post-Christian culture
We live in a society that is increasingly hostile to our faith
People don’t have our values and, most importantly, don’t understand God’s message.
I travel to churches and conferences in California, the Pacific Northwest, and throughout the United States because defending the faith must be a part of the global commitment to share the Gospel. Far too many people from both inside and outside the church are turning away from Christianity. Too many non-Christians are not even considering the Christian faith. A growing number of Christians are disillusioned by their faith.
I’ve been honored to lead the Apologetics Track at Mission ConneXion for the past three years. This year, each of our four seminars were filled with a great cross section of people who were interested, engaged, and full of questions.
However, nothing prepared us for the response to our seminar on How to Talk to Skeptics. I still get chills as I think about what happened. Five minutes before the beginning of the seminar we were already filled to capacity (100 chairs). In the next ten minutes, people continued to pour into the room–people sat down in the middle aisle, on the sides, in front, on tables in the back, and crowded around the door. They just kept coming in—all eager to learn how to better connect with people outside the church.
As I stood in front of a group of 165 people I was reminded that so many Christians simply want the tools to accomplish what the Spirit is asking them to do—share their faith!
Every time we travel to the Pacific Northwest (whether it is to Mission ConneXion Northwest in January or Student ConneXion in November) we are encouraged how the Lord opens up doors to minister at different churches on the Sunday morning following the conference. We find that Christians are eager to receive practical and easy to understand answers to some of the great questions of our day:
We are tremendously grateful to Bill MacLeod for giving us the opportunity to assist churches in the Pacific Northwest to achieve the Great Commission.
Written by Anna Konidala
In January of 2013, I attended Mission ConneXion Northwest for the first time. I knew God wanted me to be a missionary, and I was passionate about my call.
At the event I listened to several speakers who told their stories and delivered powerful messages, including Ravi Zacharias. During the worship service God convicted me that I was more focused on ministry than on Him, and when the alter call was given, ironically I submitted to Jesus my dream of being a missionary. And God was gracious to me!
At Mission ConneXion Northwest, I learned of a retreat called The Journey Deepens, and I felt led to attend. During that weekend, God ministered to my heart during my devotional time, and as soon as I got home, I received a phone call from a colleague asking if I would be willing to do a short-term trip for children’s ministry in India.
While in India, I met a young evangelist named Amith who pastors a church called Psalms Ministries. Although I had met many people from all around the world, never before had I met any man who showed such passion and love for Jesus. We became close, and as we prayed God began speaking to our hearts about His will for our relationship. In June 2016 I returned to India to teach English, but Amith caused a change of plans by proposing!
We were married on November 30th of the same year and have been continually growing in joy and love with each other and with God. Now we are serving as evangelists in India and hope God will bless us to serve Him in every nation.
“I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 31:14
No amount of bad weather leading up to our 15th annual Mission ConneXion Northwest event could dampen – or freeze out – the enthusiasm for this event which drew the largest gathering since 2013! Having more Exhibitors than ever before… *FREE* Recordings of plenary and workshop sessions…and meals provided by Chick-Fil-A only added to the excitement!
Here are some reactions we really “Liked”:
Finally, I want to thank our incredible Volunteer Team who worked so hard to make it all happen! We could not do this annual event, or other events throughout the year, without you!
The theme for Mission ConneXion Northwest 2017 is “Who Is Able?” and our guest plenary speakers understand what it means to feel inadequate as they considered (and consider) the ministry God laid before them. One of those guest speakers is Dr. Michael Oh, the founder and CEO of Lausanne Movement.
We’ve been highlighting partner agencies who will be joining us at MCNW17, but as our list grows, our newsletter space does not. All 78 exhibitor spaces are full! Here are a few highlights for the month of December. View the complete list of exhibitors here!